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The Hitchhickers guide to the Galaxy
ozoneocean at 2:36AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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OK, I finally saw the movie yesterday. I've been procrastinating for a couple of years because I'm lazy.

I was disappointed. -_-

I didn't expect that it would be faithful to the books, to the radio series, or to the television adaptation. Not for a moment- ALL those versions are different in many ways, but the good thing about them is that even though they're different and different, thay all show different an interesting aspects of the story/world that Adams invented, with really tight and snappy jokes and cheekily ironic philosophical commentary.

Unfortunately the film version was dumbed down to nothing to make it a children's movie. That's all it was and nothing more- a little kiddies Disney version of the story. But worse than it; it showed a lot LESS of the Hitchhiker's story than even the television adaption. Worse still- the film had no point. There was no rounded off theme. No proper ending. All ideas were shorn completely away from it, leaving a bland, empty, sad little sausage that even got the simplest of jokes wrong.
The addition of John Malkovich in the middle was a waste of his time and ours. I hope they paid him well.

The only theme of a sort it had going was the one about the silly, murderous bureaucracy of the Vogons. You'd be better off watching Gilliam's Brazil for a clever comical riff on the insanity of mindless bureaucracy.

—————-
On the plus side, it LOOKED very good. The design of the animatronics, the models, the 3D digital stuff, the sets and even the actor's clothing was lovely! The animated bits for the Guide looked pretty decent too, but the colours were better than the cheap 3D models they tried to pass off as 2D animation.
All the actors were pretty decent, with the one playing Zaphod being the best.
… Except for Mos Def as Ford. He looked fantastic as Ford, but he couldn't act if his mother's life depended on it. He couldn't act in a porno.
The rest of the guys did the best they could with the script, but in this eviscerated version of the story there wasn't much that they could go with it.
—————-

All in all, it was a very good looking failure…. Or a decent movie for very young kids to enjoy (I'd recommend under 10).
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
ozoneocean at 7:23AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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Soooorrrry Amelius! -T_T
I deleted your post while trying to quote it! Dammit!
I almost never do that these days…:(
Lucky I sayed it in a quote… Thanks heavens for the browser back button!

Amelius
Ah yes, that sounds like what a lot of fans of the book have said, I have yet to read it myself though! :( (shame on me!) I had a feeling without though that this was probably not entirely loyal to any of the material, it seemed too… well, put-together for a widely lauded franchise. I was just discussing this with Nick about how it seems impossible for film makers to actually stay true to what made something work. It seems a shame to go through all the bother to obtain a license to a franchise and then make something that's entirely different. I know that some of them are just imposing their artistic vision on these things, but they completely forget that they bought the license because it has a large fanbase, and those are the people you want to please! Otherwise, you make your own movie, where you are free to put whatever you want in it without having to shoehorn it into someone else's plot (looking at you, Stanley Kubrick's “The Shining”!) lol!

The radio play is the best version, at least for the first part of the series. The radio play being the original, before the books. :)

Like I said though, with Hitchhikers there were already three distinct visions of it: Radio, books, and TV, so to have a film version that was going to be different again wouldn't be an issue for me.

The trouble was that while those other forms were different because they did really cool little variations on the basic story and theme of the thing. All the move did was focus on the very first part of the book, cutting out massive swathes of fun, interesting stuff, shortening all the funny surreal moments to nothing, then made the rest as cutesy and kid-friendly as possible.
Embarrassingly so.

It was like they said “ok, let's reduce the first 100 pages to 10 pages and that's all that's going in the movie. where it doesn't work like that we'll just stick in some crap about the vogons and some love story stuff”
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…For a story that's about the weirdness of the universe (in all other versions), and the way a normal human man has to deal with that bizarreness through detached irony and British reserve, they turned it into a boring love story between Aurthur Dent the booring dick and Trillian the crazy girl, “because he's the only man that truly understood her”.
Amelius
I know that some of them are just imposing their artistic vision on these things, but they completely forget that they bought the license because it has a large fanbase, and those are the people you want to please! Otherwise, you make your own movie, where you are free to put whatever you want in it without having to shoehorn it into someone else's plot
The reason that do that is because the title can be enough on its own to make a movie a box office success- it means the project's already got a huge amount of pop-culture recognition and they don't have to do as much to stir people up to get them interested in going to see it. That's the reson for remakes and all the rest of it too -_-
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
Amelius at 8:13AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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lol! That's alright Ozone, it happens!

Yeah, I do know that they just get the name because it ensures success, but I always have to question it as though these people are capable of some integrity! 8D

I'd like to see if at least ONE Hollywood director could be loyal to the source material and make a decent movie of it!
By the way, that reminds me of how Shigeru Miyamoto supposedly didn't like the Super Mario movie because it was “too much like the video game”. lol! It's worrisome that he wasn't being sarcastic!
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
Inkmonkey at 10:24AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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I think part of the problem was that the movie was working off of a script that Douglas Adams was working on before his death. It had some changes and ideas to streamline some of his favorite parts from the various iterations of the guide throughout the years, plus some new ideas of his own. However, he never finished the screenplay, so a lot of the ideas that came up in the film are essentially half-formed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:00PM
DAJB at 10:31AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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Let's be honest, anything with Zooey Deschanel in it is bound to be poor. In the case of The Hitch Hiker's Guide it may not be entirely her fault (the film has sooo many other flaws!) but her flat, lifeless delivery is only suited to a limited number of roles and yet, for whatever reason, she keeps cropping up in things that clearly require somebody with a little more … life!

I've never heard the radio series but I know those who have tend to maintain it's the best version. My introduction was the BBC TV series (which I loved!) and so, for me, that's the standard by which every other version is judged. And, God, by that standard, the movie was awful! It had one or two moments but, overall, it seemed determined to reject everything that made the original script work (i.e. treating the bizarre and surreal as commonplace and a Pythonesque mix of slapstick and witty wordplay) in favour of a sub-standard SciFi spoof.

Maybe it's just that the quirkiness of the material actually makes it better suited to cardboard sets and ill-fitting monster costumes. Furnish it with state of the art CGI and it looks like it's trying to be a blockbuster which loses all the down-to-Earth “homeliness” that was such an integral part of the source material's appeal. Definitely one best forgotten!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 11:26AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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Hey I loved this movie! And the book. Still need to read the rest of the series…

Any movie with the guy who plays Snape in “Harry Potter” (I always find out his name and forget it-Alan Rickman) is a good one. :D

and I like Deschanel too. :(


Amelius
(looking at you, Stanley Kubrick's “The Shining”!)
The Shining?! Stephen King?! WHERE?! lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
ozoneocean at 8:36PM, Jan. 27, 2010
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posts: 24,965
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Amelius
I'd like to see if at least ONE Hollywood director could be loyal to the source material and make a decent movie of it!
Hmm… The first Lord of the Rings movie was reasonably close… I gave up after the second one. (the image of an elf surfing down the stairs on a shield while firing arrows is seared on my brain -_-)

It's true, we do need more stuff that sees the source material as more than advertising. :(
I Am The 1337 Master
Hey I loved this movie!
It's ok, I understand. Some people like autotune music too. ;)
DAJB
I've never heard the radio series but I know those who have tend to maintain it's the best version.
Yeah, the TV version was quite fantastic in its own right. They got most of the radio actors to re-do their parts for TV, which was pretty amazing. They also used a lot of other top British talent of the day. The quality of the effects and sets is pretty irrelevant really, all that matters is a well written script and a great adaption of it by competent actors. With that you can do a great performance naked on a bare stage. Add really good sets and effects and you have something amazing… But script and performance matters more. Unfortunately the movie lacked those two crucial factors.
Inkmonkey
I think part of the problem was that the movie was working off of a script that Douglas Adams was working on before his death. It had some changes and ideas to streamline some of his favorite parts from the various iterations of the guide throughout the years, plus some new ideas of his own. However, he never finished the screenplay, so a lot of the ideas that came up in the film are essentially half-formed.
Which is pretty fatal without a really great writer of at-least Adams's ability to finish it off- since the way Adams worked was to come up with a whole bunch of crap and work and work it till he had something great, and it was only ever finished when he got all the way to the end and tied it all up. Without that you just have half formed gunk. They'd have been better tossing it all out and doing their own adaptation from the scripts (radio or TV) or book without bothering with his partly done movie script mess and adding their own banal rubbish to it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM

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